Synopsis: Set in the year 1856, Nawab Wajid Ali Shah is the king of the princely state of Awadh; one of the last independent kingdoms of India. The British East India Company, intent on controlling his lands, have sent General Outram on a secret mission to clear the way for an annexation. Pressure mounts amidst intrigue and political manoeuvres, but the Nawab whiles away his time in pursuit of pleasures and religious practices. The court is of no help either with two court nobles, Mir and Mirza, spending their days playing endless games of chess while ignoring the country’s situation as well as their families. The film is based on Munshi Premchand’s namesake short story.
Writer: Satyajit Ray, Premchand